What if ... those who can’t afford online security are divided into “haves” and “have nots”?
Data Blockade of Chisnovia – Entire Country in Network Quarantine
In the first known instance of “network shunning”, traffic exiting the landlocked country of Chisnovia is being identified and dropped by Internet Service Providers in its immediate neighbours – restricting cross-border traffic between Chisnovia and its neighbours. This is possible because recent changes to global networking protocols following unrelenting cyberattacks require all data packets to be geotagged.
Networking security expert Alex North told us the geotagged data packets can be spotted “like plague ships from long ago. They’re waving the black flag that says they’re infected, and we will burn them and all inside them before we’ll let them dock in our ports”.
In recent years, Chisnovia has been both the victim and the source of many volume-based and malware attacks. Despite warnings from the Regional Network and Information Security Agency (RNISA), the country has not cleaned up its cybersecurity act. RNISA’s spokesman says the blockade is unofficial and is not RNISA initiated. The ban is believed to have been a business decision by the network of communications providers that control transit points in the region. The ISPs may have been influenced by the recent decision of a major insurer to invoke its terms on intermediary liability, holding them responsible for traffic that “could reasonably be expected” to be high risk.
An unnamed official in the Chisnovian justice ministry complained, “In 2004, we had two computers in the whole ministry. Then "development experts" fixed our so-called digital divide by networking everything in the country. So now we’re supposed to gratefully spend millions securing it? To keep rich foreigners’ systems free of the inconvenience of spam and DDOS or malware attacks while we can barely afford to run our prisons or hospitals? Forget it”.
This story shows us how the Internet might evolve. But the path we take is up to us.